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Good News: Cold water therapy could help to treat type 2 diabetes

BY Alice Gawthrop

7th Oct 2022 Good News

Good News: Cold water therapy could help to treat type 2 diabetes
Research suggests that cold water therapy, such as cold baths and showers, may be useful for helping to treat type 2 diabetes
In the UK, there are 3.8 million people living with diabetes, of which 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be a tough condition to manage, but research suggests cold water therapy may be a good way of treating it.

What is cold water therapy?

Cold water therapy means using cold water (around 15°C) to treat health conditions. It could involve going for a cold swim outdoors, although for many this is difficult to incorporate into their day-to-day lives.
Cold water shower
Simpler forms of cold water therapy include immersing yourself in a bathtub full of cool water, or having a cold brisk shower. 

Does it really work?

Cold exposure can cause stem cells to become to form brown fat, which burns more calories in order to keep the body warm. This brown fat can also alleviate impaired insulin secretion and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes
Some specific studies have found that repeated exposure to the cold can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fasting glycemia in individuals with type 2 diabetes. 
"Before trying out any home remedies, speak to your doctor to make sure that it is the right move for you"
These findings so far are promising. However, more research is needed to say definitively whether cold water therapy is an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes, and in particular to understand the prolonged effects of repeated cold exposure. 
Most importantly, before trying out any home remedies (cold water therapy or otherwise), be sure to speak to your doctor to make sure that it is the right move for you.
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